Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
As a young girl growing up in Miami, Frenkel, 32, thought she wanted to be an astronaut. But she dropped that idea after a couple of summers at space camp, where she discovered science wasn't her forte. Instead, she headed to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating in 2001, she served a stint at the WME mailroom in Manhattan before getting a call in 2003 to become an assistant to Donna Langley, then a rising production exec at Universal. Within 24 hours, Frenkel relocated to Los Angeles and has been at Universal ever since, moving up the ranks until taking on her current job in 2009. Having helped develop such hits as Mamma Mia! and Bridesmaids, she bristles when anyone calls them chick flicks. "I don't like that term," says Frenkel, who has four younger brothers. "I wouldn't even classify myself as someone who likes chick flicks; I feel it suggests a formulaic romantic comedy. What I do love are movies with strong female characters." That should serve her well as she oversees her current assignment, Universal's big-budget Snow White and the Huntsman, a revisionist version of the Grimm tale starring Kristen Stewart.